Hand-torn noodle soup

Sujebi 수제비

Sujebi is a traditional Korean noodle soup, and is well-loved and popular among Koreans. The noodles are made with homemade dough, and while noodles are usually cut with a knife, these noodles are unique in that each flat noodle is torn by hand!

The ingredients are very simple and it doesn’t cost much money to make, so it used to be regular food for some poor people who couldn’t afford rice. But Koreans still love this food and eat it all the time.

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One day I read a magazine article about a famous Korean actress who passed away last year. She was asked by the reporter what dish she likes the most. Her answer was, “kimchi sujebi! When I was young, we were so poor that my mother always made kimchi sujebi. I got tired of it terribly at that time, but for some reason, I have craving for the kimchi sujebi. It’s my favorite food!”

Once I read it, I wanted to make kimchi sujebi. Whenever I eat my kimchi sujebi, I think about the actress! What she said in the magazine motivated me to like sujebi more than before.

My grandmother used to make sujebi in a huge iron pot. When she decided to make sujebi for lunch, she would start kneading the dough soon after breakfast. She put the dough into a basin, and brought it out of the kitchen. She sat down and was kneading and pressing, and talking to us at the same time. Koreans usually use a large bowl or basin to knead dough instead of a cutting board.

I stood next to her and helped her tear the dough and put it into the boiling soup, but couldn’t follow her speed.

She used to say, “Be careful, the soup is hot. Go out and play with friends!”
My dough usually turned out too thick and when the soup was done, I could easily see who got my noodles.

Oh, so many good memories about my grandmother! I should have learned more from her, if only I had known I would be blogging about Korean traditional food someday. She passed away long time ago, and her life was dedicated to feeding her husband and children. She was a real expert on cooking Korean food.

Sujebi (mild version)

Ingredients (2-3 servings)

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon of  salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 12 large dried anchovies, removed the heads and guts
  • Dried kelp (about 4 or 5 inches on each side)
  • 1 stalk of green onion, chopped
  • 2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
  • ½ cup of onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon of soup soy sauce (If it’s not available, replace it with 1-2 teaspoons of salt according to your taste)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of sesame oil
  • Water

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Directions

  1. Combine  the flour, ¾ cup water, salt, and vegetable oil in a large bowl. Knead by hand for 10-15 minutes until the dough gets softer and sticks together firmly.
    dough
  2. Put the dough into a plastic bag and keep it in the refrigerator.
    *tip: Using a food processor is very convenient and saves time. If you use a food processor, use the dough blade and knead all the above ingredients for 1 minute until the dough sticks together and gets lumpy.

Let’s make stock:

  1. Place 10 cups of water in a large pot. Add  dried kelp and  dried anchovies
    sujebi stock
  2. Bring it to a boil for 20 minutes over medium high heat, then lower the heat to simmer for another 20 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat off and take the anchovies and kelp out.
  4. Add the potato, onion, and garlic to the pot and boil 10-15 minutes over medium high heat.
  5. Cut the cooked kelp into bite sized pieces. Set aside.
  6. Open the pot and add fish sauce, soup soy sauce (or salt), and the kelp strips.
    ingredients

Now it’s time to make noodles!

  1. Put the dough in your left hand, and pull and stretch it with your right. Get it as thin as you can. Then tear it into bite sized pieces with your right. Drop it into the boiling soup. Repeat this until the dough runs out.
    *tip: If you make more than 4 servings’ worth, tearing the dough may take too long. So all family members should work together.
  2. Close the lid and cook for a couple of minutes to let the noodles cook. The noodles will float on the surface when cooked properly.
  3. Add the green onion and sesame oil
  4. Transfer to a bowl and serve hot with kimchi.

sujebi

Hot spicy kimchi sujebi: 1 serving

Ingredients

2 cups of all purpose flour
½ of salt
1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil,
6 large dried anchovies with the heads and guts removed
1 medium potato, peeled, cut into bite sized pieces
¼ cup onion, sliced
1 stalk of green onion,  chopped
¼ cup of kimchi, chopped
2 Tablespoons of kimchi juice
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tablespoons of hot pepper paste
1 teaspoon of sesame oil 
water

Directions

  1. Combine flour, ¾ cup of water, salt, and  vegetable oil in a large bowl. Knead by hand for 10-15 minutes until the dough gets softer and sticks together firmly.
  2. Put the dough into a plastic bag and keep it in the refrigerator.
    *tip: Using a food processor is very convenient and saves time. If you use a food processor, use the dough blade and knead all the above ingredients for 1-2 minutes until the dough forms a ball.

Let’s make stock:

  1. In a shallow pot, place 3½ cups of water, the kimchi,  kimchi juice, potato,  onion, garlic, and  dried anchovies.
  2. Close the lid and bring to a boil for 10 minutes over medium high heat. Lower the heat and simmer another 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, take out the dough from the refrigerator and knead a few more minutes until the dough gets smooth and silky.
  4. Put the dough back into the plastic bag.
  5. Open the lid of the boiling pot and take out the anchovies and add  hot pepper paste. Stir it with a spoon.

Now it’s time to make noodles!

  1. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Put 1 piece of the dough into a plastic bag and keep it in the fridge for a future use.
  2. Put the other dough in your left hand, and pull and stretch it with your right. Get it as thin as you can. Then tear it into bite sized pieces with your right. Drop it into the boiling soup. Repeat this until the dough runs out.
  3. Close the lid and boil it for a few more minutes to cook the dough
  4. Turn the heat off and add green onion and a few drops of sesame oil.
  5. Serve hot!

spicy kimchi sujebi

If you want to, you can add an egg when it’s still hot:
kimchi sujebi with egg

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156 Comments:

  1. Anonymous& has 2,256 comments

    !. Can I used whole wheat flour OR whole wheat PASTRY flour for the dough?

    2. Can the noodle recipe be made 1 or 2 days advance?

  2. vb& has 36 comments

    The sujebi shop was closed for many days for the chusok holidays so i did not get to eat it but my husband who is on a short term posting in seoul ate a few times and he said that it is really good! What a pity I missed it! Yes, i know, I know, I should mk it at home…….. Maangchu, if only I were your neighbour!!!!!

  3. Kerri& has 2,256 comments

    I made subeji this morning. I used large anchovies and it was exciting to pinch them open and remove the insides, just like in your videos! Each anchovy just popped open and the guts were very easy to remove. They just brushed right out. I brushed out some of the backbones too, but I don’t think that mattered.

  4. Kelly& has 2 comments

    Pardon me for my ignorance, I feel amazed when I saw you knead the dough using a food processor. I didn’t know there is such a function. May I know what brand of food processor I should get to knead the dough, it can help saving this lazy girl.

  5. rv65& has 47 comments

    For the kimchi version when should I add the egg?

  6. Titanite& has 1 comment

    Hi there! We do the same in Singapore too! There we call it “mee hoon kuay” : dough pieces, literally. Thanks for this, I’ll definitely try out the Korean version. ;)

  7. jcsg& has 6 comments

    Oh and why do you use the head and body of the anchovies for the first soup but only the body for the second one?? TIA!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,310 comments

      You can use the heads in kimchi sujebi, but it will take longer to pick them out. If you make more than 2 servings, put all heads and bodies (oops!) into a tea strainer as I showed in my mild sujebi recipe.

  8. jcsg& has 6 comments

    I realised that for both recipe, you didn’t add any meat of any sort. Is that how you all eat it in Korea or is that a personal preference??;)

    For the Chinese way, it is pretty similar to the Korean style, just that we commonly use pork ribs to make the stock instead of anchovies:)

    Cuisines really are ‘across boundaries’:)

  9. emmy& has 2,256 comments

    Hi Maangchi! Thank you for such a wonderful recipe and your great website! I tried Sujebi today- didn’t have potatoes so I used radish instead. It was delicious! I will try it with potatoes next time! :)

  10. Libelle& has 30 comments

    Maangchi ssi, annyeong! Hubby and I enjoy watching your videos so very much! Thanks again for a great recipe! We will make your recipe soon, but on today’s menu is hobak juk, the weather is perfectly autumn out and hobak juk will go well with it! ^^
    Kamsahamnida! *hugs*

  11. at& has 2,256 comments

    NEW knife!! ;-)

  12. Kateri& has 4 comments

    That looks delicious! If I can’t find dried anchovies, what can I use instead?

  13. Mike& has 1 comment

    That looks really yummy,I’m drooling right now,I’m going to try and make it,I like the spicy one,Thanks.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,310 comments

      : ) How did your sujebi turn out? I talked to my sister living in CA over the phone yesterday. She was watching my sujebi video. I asked her what she was going to make for dinner and she said, “I want to make sujebi right now!”

  14. Ariel& has 2,256 comments

    This looks great!
    There’s a Chinese version of this, minus the kimchi, and with different ingredients, but the dough is done in exactly the same way…I wonder if it’ll taste the same =)

  15. Thaory& has 2,256 comments

    HAH! First~

    i just had a feeling that you will post a new recipe today ^^

    This is into my to do list looks so good!!!

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